As Egypt crisis deepens, Secretary-General condemns reported killings at Cairo protest site

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file photo)

8 July 2013 – Gravely concerned by the intensifying violence in Egypt, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the reported killing of dozens of people at a mass protest site in Cairo and urged all sides to “do everything possible to avoid further escalation” of the political crisis that has gripped the country.

A statement issued by his spokesman said the UN chief is “deeply disturbed” by the reported killings of more than 50 people at protests outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Egypt earlier today. Mr. Ban conveys his sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

“The Secretary-General condemns these killings and calls for them to be thoroughly investigated by independent and competent national bodies, and those responsible need to be brought to justice,” the statement says.

Mr. Ban has raised these grave concerns as news media reports cite ongoing deadly clashes and mass arrests across Egypt. On Wednesday, 3 July, the Egyptian military deposed President Mohamed Morsy, suspended the Constitution and paved they way for an interim Government. Since then, Mr. Morsy’s foes and supporters have continued to face off in huge demonstrations, with security forces and police adding to the deepening chaos.

Calling on all Egyptians to be mindful of the precarious path the country is now on and to do everything possible to avoid further escalation, Mr. Ban once again in his statement urges all sides to act with maximum restraint. “Protests must remain peaceful and the security forces must abide strictly by international standards,” it adds.

The Secretary-General goes on to urge all Egyptians and political parties to work constructively to forge a consensus on the way forward through peaceful means. “He notes that, for such a process to succeed, all parties and communities must be included,” the statement says, adding that the United Nations stands ready to assist as necessary.


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